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ANTH 101 - Williams: Cultural Overviews - Books and eBooks

This Research Guide will help you find resources about world cultures and the countries they inhabit.

Digital Books

The databases listed in this Research Guide are available only to Truckee Meadows Community College students, faculty and staff. You will need your TMCC credentials (Username and Password) to access them off-campus.

At the bottom of the page are video tutorials on searching the eBook resources.

  • The digital books below are in the Gale Virtual Reference Library in the Nation and World section.
    • Countries and their Cultures - Browse by country or type a culture into the search box on the right side of the screen. 
    • Encyclopedia of Food and Culture - this set of books presents a "survey of food and its place in human culture and society." It describes various food types and how various cultures have developed and used them. A great source for foodways informationDigital copy of yellow book in the column to the right.
    • Encyclopedia of World Cultures (1996) - There are several ways to search for a culture in this set.  Digital copy of purple book in the column to the right.
    1. If you know the name of a culture, you can type it in the search box on the right side of the screen
    2. If you have a country in mind and need to find cultures within, you can look in the eBook index and skim through the List of Cultures by Country.
  • Digital Book Collections - search these for your culture
    • eBook Collection
    • Ebook Central
    • eHRAF - this is a collection of cultural data from many sources, including encyclopedias, books, journal articles, and conference papers.
  • The CIA World Factbook - this great resource has information on every country in the world. Articles include sections on geography, people (including ethnic breakdowns), economic system, government and transnational issues.

Physical Library Books


  • Search the Library Catalog for books about your culture.  Click the magnifier symbol at the right side of the Search box and select the Library Catalog option to find physical and eBooks. Search for the culture name (dinka, yanomamo, and also any ethnonyms your group may have).
    • For example, the library has 2 books about the Dinka and about 6 on the Yanomamo.
  • The library also has dozens of ethnographies, which may cover your chosen culture.  Most are physically located in the Reserves area at the Circulation Desk, under ANTH 201. You may find one of these in a library catalog search. Here is an example of an online ethnography: The Xilixana Yanomami of the Amazon : history, social structure, and population dynamics.

Reference Books of Interest

Database Search Tutorials

Searching Gale eBook Collections for Information about Cultures and Countries

Searching Digital Book Collections for Cultural Information

Below is a picture of a sample search in the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture for Ethiopia. You will find an article about East Africa in general, and related articles about coffee, stews, and other items (all the articles mention Ethiopia). Foodways information galore!